What if you were to find out that there was a magical pill that promised to help you feel fuller longer, lose weight, make your skin clearer and brighter, help you lose weight, keep your cholesterol in-check and lower your risk of developing serious health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes? You’d probably be extremely excited and make it part of your daily regiment, no matter what the cost.
Well, the bad news is that there isn’t a pill that can do all of this (sorry to burst your bubble;) however, there is good news: there is an ingredient that you can consume that will do all of the above-mentioned things. What is it? – Fiber!
Fiber is found in many different foods, and it provides some pretty awesome health benefits. It’s best known for its ability to regulate the digestive system and ease constipation, but that’s not all fiber does: it also maintains a healthy weight, lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, it can do wonders for your complexion and it even has the power to increase your life expectancy. Pretty amazing, right?
You’ve probably heard of fiber before, but you may not really understand what it is. Also called bulk or roughage, dietary fiber is the parts of plant-based foods that your body isn’t able to digest or absorb. Unlike proteins, fats and carbohydrates, the parts of food that your body can digest and absorb, fiber passes through your digestive system pretty much intact. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. The former dissolved in water, creating a gel-like substance and helps lower cholesterol and glucose levels. The latter is helps other materials that you eat move through the digestive tract and boost the bulk of your stool, which is why it can help to ease constipation and promote regular bowel movements.
The recommended daily intake for fiber in men is between 30 and 38 grams, and for women, it’s between 21 and 25 grams, which isn’t really a lot. The sad thing is, however, that many people aren’t getting the amount of fiber that the need. There’s a simple way to increase your fiber intake: consume more foods that are high in fiber. There are a lot of foods that are rich in fiber, and here’s a look at 20.
Raspberries offer a pleasant tart, yet sweet taste, and they also offer a nice amount of fiber. Just one cup of raspberries has about 8 grams of fiber, and along with other nutritional benefits, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K and folate. Snack on a cup of raspberries for a mid-afternoon snack, add it to your breakfast smoothie, mix it in with some yogurt or add it into a parfait. You could even add raspberries to a salad for an unexpected touch of sweetness.